Black Chords: How to Play the Pearl Jam Classic on Guitar

Pearl Jam is one of the most influential rock bands of the 1990s, and their song “Black” is a fan favorite. The song is about the pain of losing a loved one, and it features powerful vocals, emotional lyrics, and haunting guitar melodies. In this article, we will show you how to play “Black” on guitar using chords, tabs, and video lessons.

The Chords

The song is in the key of E minor, and it uses six basic chords: E, A, Asus4, Em, C, and D. You can play these chords with or without a capo, depending on your preference. Here are the chord diagrams for each chord:

E A Asus4 Em C D
0 0 0 0 x x
0 2 3 0 1 3
1 2 2 0 0 2
2 2 2 2 2 0
2 0 0 2 3 x
0 x x 0 x x

The strumming pattern for the song is fairly simple. You can use a down-down-up-up-down-up pattern for each chord, or you can vary it according to your own style. The most important thing is to follow the rhythm and feel of the song.

The Tabs

The song has three main parts: the verse, the chorus, and the solo. The verse and the chorus use the same chords, but with different lyrics and vocal melodies. The solo is played over the chorus chords, and it consists of two guitar parts: one that plays the main melody, and one that plays some background fills. Here are the tabs for each part:


E|—————–|—————–|—————–|—————–| B|—————–|—————–|—————–|—————–| G|-4-5-7-5-4h5-4-2-|-4-4h5-7-44h5—-|-4-5-7-5-4h5-4-2-|-4—————| D|—————–|———–7—–|—————–|—7p5p4———| A|—————–|—————–|—————–|———7p5p4—| E|—————–|—————–|—————–|—————7p|

E Asus2 E Asus2 Sheets of empty canvas E Asus2 E Asus2 Untouched sheets of clay E Asus2 E Asus2 Were laid spread out before me E Asus2 E Asus2 As her body once did


E|———————————-| B|-8p7p5h7p5h3h5p3h1h3p1———–| G|———————-2p0h2p0—–| D|——————————-4p0| A|———————————-| E|———————————-|

D C Em D C Em And now my bitter hands cradle broken glass D C Em D C Em Of what was everything D C Em D C Em All the pictures have all been washed in black D C Em D C Em Tattooed everything


E|-12b14r12p10h12p10h8h10p8h7h8p7——————————————————–| B|——————————-10b12r10p8h10p8h7h8p7————————————| G|———————————————–9b11r9p7h9p7h5h7p5———————–| D|———————————————————9b11r9p7h9p7h4h7p4————–| A|———————————————————————9b11r9p7h9p7——-| E|———————————————————————————-10b12r|

E|-10b12r10p8h10p8h7h8p7——————————————————–| B|———————–10b12r10p8h10p8h7h8p7————————————| G|——————————————–9b11r9p7h9p7h5h7p5———————–| D|——————————————————9b11r9p7h9p7h4h7p4————–| A|——————————————————————9b11r9p7h9p7——-| E|——————————————————————————10b12r|

E|-10b12r10p8h10p8/15b17r15/17b19r17/19b21r19/21b23r21/23b25r23/25b27r25/27b29r27/29b31r29/31b33r31/33b35r33/35b37r35/37b39r37/39b41r39/41b43r41/43b45r41p39p37p35p33p31p29p27p25p23p21p19p17p15p13p11p10h11h13h15h17h19h21h23h25h27h29h31h33h35h37h39h41h43h45| B|————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————| G|————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————| D|————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————| A|————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————| E|————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————|

E|-45b47r45p43p41p39p37p35p33p31p29p27p25p23p21p19p17p15p13p11-| B|————————————————————| G|————————————————————| D|————————————————————| A|————————————————————| E|————————————————————|

E|-10-12-15-12-10-8-7-8-10-12-15-12-10-8-7-8-10-12-15-12-10-8-7-8-10-12-15-12-10-8-7-8–| B|————————————————————————————–| G|————————————————————————————–| D|————————————————————————————–| A|————————————————————————————–| E|————————————————————————————–|

E|-10b12r10p8h10p8h7h8p7—————————————-| B|———————–10b12r10p8h10p8h7h8p7——————-| G|——————————————–9b11r9p7h9p7——-| D|—————————————————–9b11r9—-| A|———————————————————–9—| E|————————————————————-0-

The Video Lessons

If you prefer to learn by watching and listening, you can check out these video lessons on YouTube. They will show you how to play the song step by step, with tips and tricks along the way.

Black Chords by Pearl Jam @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com: This video shows you how to play the chords and the strumming pattern for the song, with a backing track and lyrics on the screen.

BLACK Chords – Pearl Jam | E-Chords: This video shows you how to play the chords and the strumming pattern for the song, with a capo on the second fret.

BLACK ACOUSTIC CHORDS by Pearl Jam @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com: This video shows you how to play the acoustic version of the song, with the chords and the tabs on the screen.

[Black – Pearl Jam (Guitar Lesson) – YouTube]: This video shows you how to play the electric version of the song, with the chords, the tabs, and the solo on the screen.


“Black” is a beautiful and heartbreaking song by Pearl Jam that you can learn to play on guitar. You can use the chords, the tabs, and the video lessons in this article to help you master the song. Remember to practice slowly and carefully, and have fun playing along with one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

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